Ryan Todd

Ryan Todd is a research analyst at The Block where he focuses on the convergence of fintech and digital assets. Previously he worked at Deutsche Bank as an equity analyst covering consumer finance and payments companies, and also spent time at ConsenSys exploring the broader Ethereum ecosystem. Ryan holds a BS in Economics and Accounting/Finance from Florida State University, and MS Finance from Vanderbilt University.

The Interchange: Endgames

A big focus for this column is to address developments that bleed across crypto, capital markets, and broader fintech: exploring in a research-driven way, the specific news stories and real-world examples that showcase how digital assets and open finance primitives could impact both monetary and payment systems, as well as broader capital markets.  It’s easy […]
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Feb 22, 2021, 10:35AM UTC

The Interchange: Bakkt to Frothy Markets

Bakkt to Frothy Markets “We’re not crazy… We didn’t lose our minds.” Those were the fighting words Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) CEO Jeff Sprecher dealt out on last year’s earnings call when discussing the idea of pivoting Bakkt to a global exchange for airline miles, loyalty points, and “swords and sickles” from video games. “We know […]
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Jan 14, 2021, 12:36PM UTC

The Block Research 2021 Analyst Call - Video Recording and Slides

Each month The Block Research hosts a private analyst call for its research members. To kick off the new year, we opened the call publicly for the first time. The call explored key takeaways from The Block’s 2021 Digital Asset Outlook Report and an open Q&A section. Topics included: State of the Market 2021 DeFi […]
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Jan 12, 2021, 10:41PM UTC

The Interchange: Crypto is now a trillion dollar asset class. What now?

7 days into 2021 and it has already been a year of firsts for crypto. Headlined by the total market value of all outstanding digital assets clearing more than a trillion dollars for the first time ever, several crypto metrics are now (again) measured in the trillions — including annual on-chain transaction volumes of stablecoins, […]
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Jan 7, 2021, 12:00PM UTC

The Interchange: 2020 Year in Review

2021 here we come.   This week officially marks my second full year at The Block, and in terms of writing the weekly Interchange column, I’m closing in on issue #80.    A big focus for this column this year was to address developments that bleed across crypto, capital markets, and broader fintech; exploring in […]
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Dec 29, 2020, 12:00PM UTC

The Interchange: Cash App bitcoin rewards and other debit programs could onboard millions more into the ecosystem

In The Block’s 2020 Research Outlook, the rise of ‘crypto rewards cards’ was one of a handful of thematic trends presented to watch for in 2020, with the expectation for both BlockFi and Fold to launch respective bitcoin credit, and bitcoin debit card rewards, respectively. From the report: [We expect] the bitcoin rewards space to be […]
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Dec 17, 2020, 12:00PM UTC

The Interchange: Wait, it's all just banks?

Even after covering banking and payment developments for now nearly two years at The Block, I’m still amazed at just how rapidly everything is coming together around building market structure and financial services for digital assets. Take this table, highlighting a year full of major developments across financial services and fintechs accelerating strategic desires to […]
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Dec 10, 2020, 4:47AM UTC

The Interchange: Visa wants to be a network of networks. It's winning the connection to public digital asset networks

Visa often notes a core strategic priority of the company is to be a network of networks.  News this week that Visa will be powering BlockFi’s long-awaited bitcoin rewards credit card and integrating Circle APIs to support USDC for B2B (business-to-business) transactions only further accentuates the desire the company has placed this year on making […]
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Dec 4, 2020, 12:00PM UTC

The Interchange: MicroStrategy's first mover advantage into bitcoin as corporate treasury is already demonstrating eye-watering results

I continue to be enamored with everything that is MicroStrategy’s historic “indefinite Bitcoin Treasury Reserve Policy.” A policy that states the company will continue to purchase additional bitcoin (currently have ~38K BTC) as the firm generates cash beyond what is needed to run the business on a day-to-day basis (what they have determined to be […]
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Nov 19, 2020, 6:00AM UTC

2020 U.S. CBDC Highlights

It’s hard to believe we are almost through the year that was 2020, one that has, almost ironically, been quite fruitful for the digital asset industry at large. Notably, it’s a year that has registered fresh all time-highs in the market capitalization of bitcoin, a banner year for legacy fintech digital asset developments, and a […]
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Nov 18, 2020, 12:00PM UTC

Contextualizing CME Bitcoin Futures record breaking year

CME bitcoin futures is on a record-breaking year in terms of reportable trader engagement, trading volumes, and open interest in 2020. The product cracked the Top 60 of all CFTC reportable futures contracts ranked by the total number of large open interest holders in October.
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Nov 10, 2020, 12:00PM UTC

The Interchange: Plaid-Visa antitrust concerns highlight the value of stablecoins built on open public infrastructure

It has been nearly 10 months since Visa announced it will be acquiring Plaid, a fintech that provides a platform for applications to connect to banks, for $5.3 billion; making international headlines and kicking of 2020 with one of the buzziest acquisition announcements in recent memory.    At the time, I wrote in a column […]
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Nov 6, 2020, 7:23AM UTC

What does Prime Brokerage look like for Digital Assets?

Prime brokerage services are a staple of large investment banks, assisting funds and asset allocators as they navigate markets, manage risk, build capital, among other value-added services. More recently, it has become a sort of buzzword in the digital asset space.
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Nov 2, 2020, 3:41PM UTC

The Interchange: Bitcoin as an investor relations tool

Microstrategy gives a historic earnings update this week as the first US-listed public company to declare bitcoin as an indefinite treasury reserve; could we see a subset of public companies look to bitcoin to energize new investor interest?
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Oct 30, 2020, 6:32AM UTC

Coinbase Card: A crypto rewards debit card that hints at greater depository ambitions

With news this month of PayPal confirming crypto exchange capabilities in-app, and the announcement of the refreshed Coinbase Card — a Visa debit card that allows users to spend crypto and receive up to 4% rewards — the offering of crypto rewards through traditional financial service products feels more relevant than ever before. Could Coinbase Card offer a unique platform to build a larger deposit base, akin to more traditional banking models?
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Oct 29, 2020, 4:56AM UTC

3Q 2020 Earnings Preview: PayPal and OCC clarity put crypto M&A front and center

With the expectation for the crypto industry to gain more publicly-traded companies in the coming quarters — along with companies that already operate predominately within crypto (Galaxy Digital, Silvergate), or larger fintech companies that now offer crypto capabilities (Square and PayPal) — this quarterly series will preview the numbers and themes to watch into earnings season for these various companies.
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Oct 23, 2020, 5:33AM UTC